I estimate that 90% of the books are packed now - excluding all those I have not (yet) been able to bring myself to part with, which are stacked in a corner hopeful that they will make it to London with me. We'll see.
Ah, how many interesting finds and old friends there are in those boxes! It's a toss-up whether I felt more attached to those I had read and loved, or those I had not yet read but 'always meant to'. There were many moments of 'in...or out?...no, better pack it...no, better take it...'
The many stacks of filled cardboard boxes, scattered through 3 or 4 rooms, have been tastefully turned into cocktail tables for tonight's party, adorned with little candles and small pots of flowers. It's not like this disguises them or anything, but it feels less like a demolition site that way. My lovely little house is not at its party best. I think that Peak House was reached at about the time of my last party, which was to introduce the lovely opera singer Sian Pendry to my friends. The house looked gorgeous then, just the way I wanted it. It held that condition for some time, and now I am dismantling it. I know why, but still it seems destructive.
Tonight is not just a Bon Voyage party (and farewell to my house), but also a mini-launch of 'Mt Kilimanjaro & Me' (for which I have set up some photos and....in a World Premiere...a short video taken on the mountain. Woo-hoo. Bet you're sorry you're missing this - or glad if you are coming!)
Of course, it is also Election Night, with the polls closing at 6 pm and Anton beginning his broadcast in the SBS studios at 6.30. I will have to figure out how to turn on the television so that my guests can keep track of the results; I only hope that it doesn't turn out to be too depressing. That would really put a dampener on my party. As I said when Julia called the election - why didn't she call me to co-ordinate diaries? How can I expect to be the centre of attention at my book launch with this distracting election going on?
There are two or three early arrivals here already, Evan has gone to fetch the ice, I think we're close to that exciting moment when the first Veuve Cliquot can be opened...